S: Europe 2011
BC: Loved the trip! Gail & Alan XOXO
FC: Gail & Alan Europe 2011
1: Upside down stairs at Placa de Catalunya | Gaudi's Casa Batllo': 1906 One of the few things he completed. | B | A | R | C | E | L | O | N | A
2: La Pedrera: Completed in 1910, it reminded people of a stone quarry (a pedrera) so that is the name it acquired. | Sagrada Familia Church
3: The original architect was Francisco de Paula Villar. Gaudi's idea was to add the 18 towers (dedicated to the 12 apostles, 4 evangelists, the Virgin Mary & Jesus Christ.
5: The Sagrada Familia Church has 3 facades: Birth, Passion & Resurrection of Christ
6: Park Guell was designed by Gaudi to be an exclusive garden-city housing project. | Barcelona
7: The pavilions located just behind the gates (inspired by the tale of Hansel and Gretel) were to be for the gatekeepers
8: Agbar Tower | Face of Barcelona | Our Hotel Le Meridien | We used the hop on hop off bus to get around. | L | a | R | a | m | b | l | a
9: Columbus Monument | Breakfast from a bakery around the corner | Which box has the paper under it?
10: Government Building | Go | Monaco was decorated from the past weekend's wedding of Prince Andreotto to Juillet. | St. Nicholas Church | Old Monaco
11: Old Monaco City | Aquarium | Royal Palace
12: San Gimignano- Italy
14: Giachi Vineyard in San Gimignano Italy
16: All of the buildings are white. The walls are made of marble and roof is made of lead (when it rusts it turns white). White is symbolic for God (purity). | Field of Miracles | People used to get baptized two times per year. If they were not baptized, they could not go into the church. Thus the baptism area is built outside of the church. | The field is said to represent the circle of life. Baptism =new birth Cathedral= new life after being baptized Hospital= newness Campo Santo (cemetery) represents death.
17: The leaning tower is a bell tower with 7 bells. They can no longer ring or it would sink even more. It was started in 1173 and took 200 years to complete. It leans approximately 1mm more per year. Today it leans 14 degrees from perpendicular.
18: Rome | Marble was "borrowed" from the Colosseum to make churches around Rome when their economy picked up and it was no longer in use. The holes left in the remaining marble is from the stakes taken out to melt down and use for other things. | Gladiators were often slaves or poor people wanting to better their lives by winning and gaining status. Slaves could not win, they had to die. If they lived through one animal, they had to fight another. When two men would fight, each would have different weapons/protection (shield & sword vs. helmet & trident). | The fights were free for everyone to watch. The most powerful sat at the bottom for the best view. The less status you had, the higher you had to sit.
19: The Colosseum was completed in 80AD. | 80 Arched enterances allowed spectators easy access.
20: The Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel
22: Piazza Venezia -Honors Vittorio Emanuele II who united all of Itally. | The Roman Forum was the heart of the city in Republican and Imperial eras. | The triple Arch of Constantine, was constructed in honor of the emperor who delayed the decline of the Empire. He issued a decree of religious liberty in 313 A.D. to stop the persecution of Christianity. | The Arch of Titus was built to celebrate the triumph of the emperor for the conquest of Jerusalem.
23: To make your wish, use your right hand and throw your coin over your left shoulder. 1 coin= you will return to Rome soon 2 coins= you will get married 3 coins= you will undo your marriage | The Trevi Fountain was built to honor the completion of the Roman Aquaducts
24: Once every 25 years the Pope breaks the wall from the inside of St. Peters and opens the green/gold door. | St. Peter's Church | This is the only statue of St. Peter in the church. | It took more than a century to build St. Peter's Church.
25: St. Peter's Square
26: Naples: Herculaneum | In 79 A.D. the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius covered about 5000 people living in Herculaneum with mud and it remained undiscovered until 1709. The eruption was so great that it created a lot more land thus Herculaneum is much further from the sea today. The mud preserved the organic materials so well that they can still be seen today: oranges, bodies, etc. Pompeii had about 2000 people buried with ash and lava so only molds are left of the organic items. | Mt. Vesuvius: The last eruption was in 1944 and the lava was moving so slowly that things were not destroyed. The next erruption is predicted to be explosive like 79 A.D. (It will be even more devistating than before because there are more people living around Mt. Vesuvius than the last time). | The people living in Herculaneum were Truscans. Much of Herculaneum iies under many modern buildings because they did not excavate before building and the government has no more money to do it at this time.
27: The hole in the "locker room" ceiling (where the light is coming in) is where later generations excavated in looking for goods to take. The slots on the right were lockers and the fountain at the end was for them to wash up. The ribbed ceiling helped prevent dripping on their heads. The water was created from the steam created in the rooms. Hot water ran under the floor to heat the rooms and then the steam from it would travel up slots behind their wall to the ceiling and give them a steam bath. | It is believed that the Volcano produced a gas that over came the people killing them within seconds and then the rain came which brought the mud down the mountain covering Herculaneum in two days! | After 15 years there was enough calcium built up in the lead pipes to protect them from lead poisoning. | This is a fountain found outside of the pool room.
28: Herculaneum | Colored frescos and tiles were predominate in only the rich houses as they were very expensive. | Every house had a laddi (alter to pray), even the shops did . | The weight of the mud collapsed the floor in this sauna.
29: These are original wooden steps preserved well by the mud as many things were. They are behind glass because they would disingrate if they were exposed to the air. | The rain water would fall into this "collection area" and then it would drain through the hole in the back right into their holding basin (circular black shape with lid on it) for later use.
30: We started off by putting in $20 to play the game of Roulette. I taught Alan the basics I remembered from playing in Los Vegas. We played for just over a half of an hour. At one point we were up by $145! They had to switch out the dealer on us--we were that good:) We ended up with a $115 so after subtracting out what we started with... we had a $95 winnings! | $95 Richer | $ | $ | $ | $ | $
31: Little Italy in Mykonos | Mykonos-Greece | Pelicans--the icon for Mykonos | Winding roads throughout the village help protect them from the huge winds. The winding roads were also created to help to protect them against pirate attacks. They could hide around the corners in the square (they know the nitches) and jump out when attacked. Some streets were so narrow that we had to stand on a steps to a house door so a car could go by. There is absolutely NO room to stand next to the car on the street as it passes. | 20,000 people live here in the summer; however, in the winter when the wind gets up to 30 knots, only 6,000 people are living here. | SMART-Swatch/Mercedes Art
32: Mykonos is 46 sq. miles. It is one of the most expensive Greek Isles. Petros III is the ruler here. | The windmills crush grain. | There is 365 churches (one for every little group of houses).
33: Paradise Beach is a nude beach. Super Paradise is a gay nude beach.
34: Chocolate Nutello and strawberry crepes | Cheese and mushroom crepes | Lego jewelry for sale | You must pay to use the restroom. The cat will follow you in to let the owner know that you have not paid.
35: The Greek Donuts were delicious! They tasted like our plain donuts deep fried, dipped in honey and rolled in nuts.
36: Istanbul-Turkey | Spiders and Pigeons are considered holy. Turkey uses a lunar calendar. Turks and Greeks are close because their islands are so very close. Turkey, Greeks, and Italians smile--most of Europe does not. Ramadan is celebrated during the month of August. During this time, there is no gum, sex, food, etc. until after sunset. Hospitals are free for all. Working people pay for 20% of their medications and the retired do not pay at all. When you retire, your pension consists of 60% of your last 5 years salary. Soccer is the most popular sport. Green (sulfer) and red (iron) marble is very cheap here. The smell from the lime white wash on the bottom of the trees is to kill the bugs climbing it and if this does not kill them, the birds can easil spot them and eat them. During the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, Istanbul was known as Constantinople and after the Ottomans conquest it changed to Istanbul. The population is estimated as 12 to 15 million people. There is continuous immigration from the rural areas to the city each year increasing the population around a half million every year. Each year 1,00 new streets are constructed within the city and brand new settlements rise on the eas west axis. | There are 157 churches, 70,000 mosques and 15 synagogues in Turkey. Ramadan is celebrated during the month of August. During this time, there is no gum, food, sex, etc. until after sunset. | The head is considered the holiest part of your body and the feet the dirtest (thus remove shoes before entering). Don't point finger, use whole hand. Don't show bottom of your foot or shoe. Shake head side to side (our no)= don't understand. Yes= move head forward. No= move head up and back and if really No! then raise your eyebrows.
37: 1 Euro= 2.30 Turkish Lira 1 dollar=1.63 Turkish Lira Turkey is the only democratic country in the Middle East. Istanbul houses 20% of Turkey's Population. Istanbul is the only city in the world established in two continents. It lies in both Asia and Europe. The European side is south of the Golden Horn. This side of the city is a trade and business center where the Asian side is more residential. They use a lunar (moon phases) calendar. Thus it comes 11 days earlier each year. | The color green is the most holy; thus, it is very rare to find this color used in rugs. Southern Turkey has mostly blue and red in the rugs as they use what is around them (natural dies). | In Turkey, it is believed that you have an angel sitting on each of your shoulders. The on the the right, records the good things that we do. The one on your left, records the bad things we do (on judgement day, your good and bad are weighted to see where you will go.
38: Hagia Sophia means holy wisdom. It has 4 minarets and was built to be the "queen church" of the new empire. When it was taken over by Sultan Suleyman he had the Byzantine mosaics plastered over. President Ataturk turned the building into a museum in 1936 so the mosaics were uncovered and restored. Legend has it that when Hagia Sophia was being built, a boy was asked by an angel to go get the workmen on lunch immediately and bring them back and that she would keep the temple safe until the boys return. The emperor heard of this and was overjoyed by the divine favor so he decided to call the church Hagia Sophia after the divine favor and forbid the boy from returning. so the angel true to the promise could guard over the church forever. | The front of the mosque is "off center "so that they can face Mecca when praying.
39: Hagia Sophia was a church for 916 years, a mosque for 481 years and a museum since 1935. The mosaics were plastered over when it was converted to a mosque as Muslim custom prohibits human representations. As a museum, they uncovered the first angels face in 2009, and will do another every 50 years. | This mosaic is above the exit door. It shows Christ being held in the middle. Emperor Constantine is shown offering his city on the right and Emperor Justinian on the left offering the church. | The crying column or sweating column. It is believed that if you put your thumb in the whole and make a complete circle, your wish will come true.
40: The Blue Mosque | Men washing their feet before entering the Blue Mosque. | The dark spots on the carpet indicate the places to stand and then kneel from when praying towards Mecca. | Women must pray from behind these wooden gates. They are not allowed to pray next to the men (they will get distracted). | he Sultan Ahmed is a historical mosque in the largest city in Turkey and the capital of the Ottoman Empire (from 1453 to 1923). The mosque is popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior. It was built between 1609 and 1616, during the rule of Ahmed I. Like many other mosques, it also comprises a tomb of the founder, a Madrasah and a hospice. While still used as a mosque, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque has also become a popular tourist attraction. After the Peace of Asitvatorok (1606) and the unfavourable result of the wars with Persia, Sultan Ahmed decided to build a large mosque in Istanbul as recompense. This would be the first Imperial mosque to be built in more than forty years. Whereas his predecessors had paid for their mosques with their war booty, Sultan Ahmed I had to withdraw the funds from the treasury, because he had not won any notable victories. This provoked the anger of the Ulema, the Muslim legal scholars. The opening ceremonies were held in 1617 (although the inscription on the gate of the mosque says 1616). The sultan could now pray in the royal box. The building was not yet finished in this last year of his reign, as the last accounts were signed by his successor Mustafa I. Known as the Blue Mosque, Sultan Ahmed Mosque is one of the most impressive monuments in the world. The mosque was depicted on the reverse of the Turkish 500 Turkish lira banknotes of 1953-1976. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is one of the two mosques in Turkey that has six minarets. The other one is the Sabanci Mosque in Adana. When the number of minarets was revealed, the Sultan was criticized for being presumptuous, since this was, at the time, the same number as at the mosque of the Ka’aba in Mecca. He overcame this problem by ordering for a seventh minaret to be built at the Mecca mosque. Four minarets stand at the corners of the mosque. Each of these fluted, pencil-shaped minarets has three balconies (erefe) with stalactite corbel, while the two others at the end of the forecourt only have two balconies.
41: This chain is to make sure everyone (including the Sultan) gets off of their horse and walks in with respect. | Long lines to enter the Blue Mosque.
43: Gail ordered the chicken kabobs. It came with rice, slices of pita bread with sauce on it and french fries. | Alan ordered the sampler platter. | At noon, the call to pray could be heard throughout the restaurant.
44: The power company paid to have the Virgin Mary House restored so they were then allowed in return to put their towers on top of the hill. The Vatican has recognized this small house in the Solmissoso Mts. as the final resting place of the Virgin Mary. | This wall is where you tie on your prayers in hopes for them to be heard. | Virgin Mary House | K | U | S | A | D | A | S | I
45: Turkish Lira
46: These were the hopitals. If you were in the hospital and were dying they would put you out on the street. They also did not accept anyone they did not think would live so they could say they never had anyone die in the hospital. | There was a boying in the hospital so they kicked him out on the street. He wanted to die quick so when he saw a snake in a bowl of milk (commonly put out for the animals on the street) he picked up the bowl and drank from it. He got bitten by the snake and later began to feel better. So the snake became the symbol for medicine. | Madusa was used to ward off evil. | Ephesus
47: The main income for Kusadasi is farming, export of gold and hubandry. Graffito is punishible by 3 weeks in jail, thus Kusadasi is very clean. 40,000 peole live here year round and about a 1/2 million during the summer. Men can not smoke, drink or gamble for 5 years after they have a baby (they want the money to go to the baby) and the second father pays for the dolary bag when it is a girl and the circumcision when it is a boy. Silk is made from Mulberry cocoons. | Nike swoosh came from the angel's dress. | The marble is so smooth that it can be difficult to walk up or down hill on so they made these grooves to help you get a grasp. | Ephesus used to be on the sea but now it is 6 miles back due to the erruption of the volcano. | Ephesus is where Mary and Joseph brought Jesus after having him.
48: Odeon of Herodes Atticus | Parthenon | Lions are the symbol for St.Marks (taken from Constantinople) | The Propylea of the Acropolis | Acro-top (edge) Polis- city (town) | Athens Greece
49: Temple of Hephaistos "The Theseion" | Porch of Caryatides | Erechtheion
50: Built to honor Poseidon (god of seas/water) | Built on a hill so when the enemies where coming they could build fires and warn others
51: It is the only stadium made of marble. The white is so bright that they turn off all the lights on the 2nd full moon and the stadium glows. The marble is so soft that it is now only used 2x per year (once for the lighting of the Olympic torch to be handed down). | Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier | Athens Greece
53: Venice | We are on a vaporetto, it is a water bus service that runs 24 hrs a day. It costs 6.5 Euros per hour, 16 E for 12 hours, 18 E for 24 hrs, 23 E for hrs and 50 E for 7days. The ATVO is a bus that allows more luggage on. $1.50 is equivalent to 1 E. | In 1963, the last new building was built. It caused such an uproar that people are still talking about it today. They prefer to restore rather than build new.
54: Murano was our first stop as soon as we arrived in Venice. It was about a 20 min. ride from S. Zaccaria in St. Marks Square.
55: M | U | R | A | N | O
56: B | U | R | A | N | O
58: Ambulance | Fondamente Nove
59: Purses anyone? | The gondola ride was 100 Euros for 35 minutes.
60: Venice Italy | Alan got a lemon freeze and Gail had her usual gelato.
61: Bridge of Sigh--As the prisoners would cross it to go to jail they would sigh taking in the last bit of sunlight they would see in a very long time. It is thought that if you kiss while going under it, your marriage will last forever. Of course, we had to kiss a few times while passing under it to make sure it worked!